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Botanical Name: Crataegus sp

Common Name: Hawthorn
Origin: Eastern USA
Location: CNE, CNW


Notable Feature: A feast for your eyes as well as for the birds! Dangling red, small, crabapple-like fruits begin to ripen in early fall, and when fully ripe are devoured by cedar waxwings in just a few hours, indeed a sight to behold!

Habit: Growing up to 25 feet tall and just as wide with a rounded outline.  Displays smooth and grayish brown bark when young that becomes darker and exfoliating with age.  Its silvery gray branches have an interesting crisscrossing habit. Deciduous.

Flower: Species has perfect (bisexual) flowers, and 2-inch clusters of white or pink flowers (depending upon cultivar) appear in mid-May after its glossy green leaves fully emerge.

Fruit: A rounded pome, ¼ to ½” in diameter. The brilliant red fruit starts forming in late September or early October and covers the tree in abundance, persisting through the winter months.

Foliage: Highly variable, but generally alternate, 2 to 4 inches long, toothed and lobed (or may be unlobed), subtended by long thorns, dark green above and paler below.  Emerges in early spring; fall foliage color ranges from purples to deep reds.

Interesting Fact: Given the large number of cultivars of this species, it is perhaps not surprising that it has not been possible to identify this particular cultivar.  Hawthorns are members of the Rose Family and are also commonly called thornapples, May-trees, whitethorns, and hawberrys. In the southern U.S. fruits of several native species are collectively known as "mayhaws" which are made into jams/jellies and considered a great delicacy.

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